From colony to country : models of decolonization and their application to post-conflict state building.

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts


Given the legacy of colonialism in Africa and the importance of the decolonization period to the development of African states as well as the number of states emerging from conflict situations, it is important to revisit and re-examine the methods through which the former colonies gained independence and ascended to the status of a nation state. This thesis will explore the different transition models employed during the decolonization period and how they can be applied to modern day post-conflict state building. In order to accomplish this, two transition models will be examined: the British Model implemented in non-settler African colonies and the French Model implemented in non-settler African colonies, with the central focus being placed on how transition policy during the decolonization period affected post-independence institutional stability. It will be argued that the more institutionally inclusive the political institutions were during the decolonization process, the more stable the institutions in the territory would be following independence. It will be further argued that the nature of nationalism and the role of the key leader during the transition had an effect on the levels of institutional stability that occurred. By examining the ideological visions of the decolonization models of the British and the French, as were implemented in the non-settler African colonies, and exploring how they were implemented in two cases, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, this thesis will demonstrate a divergence between vision and implementation. The focus of this paper will rest in evaluating the different models and how the outcomes can help inform a different type of transitional policy that can be applied today.